Piers Corbyn broke Covid rules by holding Trafalgar Square mass rally that David Icke told crowds was ‘an island of sanity in a world of lunacy’, court hears
- Corbyn is accused with two others of organising the huge anti-lockdown protest
- More than 10,000 conspiracy theorists are believed to have attended the rally
- Corbyn gave a speech as crowds held signs branding the pandemic as a ‘hoax’
- CCTV footage played to court also showed crowds cheering for David Icke
Piers Corbyn broke Covid rules by holding a mass rally in Trafalgar Square that David Icke told crowds was ‘an island of sanity in a world of lunacy’, a court heard today.
The 75-year-old, brother of former Labour leader Jeremy, is accused of organising the rally in central London on August 29, 2020.
More than 10,000 conspiracy theorists are believed to have attended the protest, which resulted in Corbyn being taken away from the area by a gaggle of mask-wearing police officers who hauled him into a van.
He, along with Louise Creffield, 35, and Vincent Dunmall, 55, are also charged with arranging three similar events in September, October and November later the same year.
Corbyn alone is accused of a further gathering on New Year’s Eve 2020.
Iestyn Morgan, prosecuting, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court today that Covid regulations in place at the time restricted people from gathering in large groups.
Before the Trafalgar Square event, Corbyn liaised with police officers and Mr Morgan said it was clear he was taking a leadership role.
At the rally itself, Corbyn gave a speech, while Creffield and Dunmall were also present on stage.
CCTV footage played in court showed a crowd of hundreds cheering as Icke also took to the stage, where he said: ‘What a joy it is to look out upon an island of sanity in a world of lunacy.’
Piers Corbyn posed with his fists raised aloft outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court today ahead of his trial over alleged Covid breaches
More than 10,000 Covid-19 conspiracy theorists who believed the virus is a hoax gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square to protest against lockdown restrictions
Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers (right) is a well-known conspiracy theorist who has spouted claims that the coronavirus is linked to 5G mobile networks
Who is David Icke? The conspiracy theorist who once claimed he was the son of God
David Icke is the notorious conspiracy theorist who often makes headlines for his controversial comments.
Born in 1952, the 68-year-old former professional footballer has written more than 20 books and once tried his hand at punditry and sports reporting.
In 1991, he appeared on Sir Terry Wogan’s TV chat show where he declared himself as the son of God in a now-infamous clip which he describes as a ‘defining moment’.
It was from here that he began writing his books and making bold predictions including that the world would end in 1997.
Other bizarre claims he have made include that the royal family are lizards.
Icke also believes that an inter-dimensional race of reptilian beings called the Archons has hijacked the earth and is stopping humanity from realising its true potential.
He has said that the universe is made up of ‘vibrational’ energy, and consists of an infinite number of dimensions that share the same space, just like television and radio frequencies, and that some people can tune their consciousness to other wavelengths.
Most recently, he has suggested the coronavirus is linked to the 5G mobile network, a claim which has never been backed up by science.
Icke also claimed that the spread of coronavirus was an ‘illusion pandemic’.
Body worn footage from police officers on the day was also played to magistrates and showed Corbyn’s arrest.
Crowds could be heard shouting ‘fascist’ and ‘shame on you’ at the officers.
Pictures from the demonstration also showed Trafalgar Square almost full of protesters – none of whom were wearing masks – holding signs that branded the pandemic as a ‘hoax’.
Other signs claimed masks reduce immunity and likened the restrictions to ‘child torture’. One person held a homemade placard on which he had scrawled ‘no to mandatory vaccines.’
In a social media post published after the rally, Corbyn described himself as the ‘official organiser’.
He also encouraged his followers to attend the following rally on September 26, where the group aimed to pressure MPs to scrap the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Mr Morgan told the court that some of the ‘political gatherings’ did have risk assessments, but reasonable steps were not taken to make sure they were compliant with Covid rules.
He described the risk assessment as ‘inadequate’ and therefore they had breached the rules.
Mr Morgan said that, on December 18, police sent a copy of the assessment for the Trafalgar Square event to Veronica Schultz – a health and safety advisor for Westminster City Council.
Giving evidence, she told the court: ‘I looked at the email and afterwards I compared it to the risk assessments that we had on our system.
‘We have seven risk assessments from other events.
‘They were provided by Mr Corbyn as organiser.
‘These seven had all the elements of a risk assessment. They included control measures that this event did not have.’
Corbyn walking towards court today carrying two supermarket bags as he dressed in a grey jacket with a blue shirt and red tie
Piers was arrested at the mass-gathering of Covid-19 conspiracy theorists in Trafalgar Square in August 2020
The gathering in Trafalgar Square was one of several demonstrations taking place across the world with others in Berlin
Protesters pictured marching towards Westminster from Trafalgar Square during the demonstration against the Government’s coronavirus prevention measures in August 2020
At least 15,000 protesters descended on Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park again a month after the August 2020 gathering as part of an anti-lockdown demonstration
She added that, to herself and her colleagues, it did not amount to a risk assessment at all and they instead referred to it only as an ‘information document’.
Ms Schultz continued: ‘It should have elements of social distancing, arrangements in case of overcrowding, a communication strategy between the organisers and the participants.
‘We would be looking at marshals, who should be communicating with participants, making sure people avoid crowding in large groups, screaming and sneezing in each other’s faces.
‘They said the risk is low but the explanation is based on personal and highly-speculative views. It is not based on any true statement that could be called a fact.’
Mr Morgan said that risk assessments for the other events were considered to be adequate.
Corbyn, of Elephant and Castle, south east London, denies five charges of holding a gathering and five charges of participating in a public gathering of more than 30 people.
Creffield, of Brighton, East Sussex, and Dunmall, of Orpington, south east London, deny four charges of holding a gathering and four charges of participating in a public gathering of more than 30 people.
The trial continues.
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